BJP president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley flagged off the 'Run for Unity' from the party headquarters here. Delhi leaders also participated in the 2-5 km run. BJP patriarch L K Advani participated in the programme in Ahmedabad while Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi took part in Vadodara.
Both leaders have been called 'Iron men' by their party leaders and followers. The title was originally used for Patel, India's first Home Minister. Party MP and spokesperson Prakash Javadekar took part in the marathon in Hyderabad while actor-turned-MP Smriti Irani led the race in West Bengal.
Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley flagged off the 'Run for Unity' in Delhi.
Irani said, "I think today in the country, we have over 50 lakh participants in the 'Run for Unity' and I am grateful to all those who participated because they are contributing towards the unity of India." The participants wore T-shirts with a picture of Sardar Patel on it. The theme for the race was good governance and national integration.
565 places were chosen by BJP for the race as Patel had integrated this number of princely states into the Union of India at the time of Independence. BJP is also reaching out to people to collect iron pieces for the ambitious 'Statue of Unity' that Modi wants to build in memory of Sardar Patel.
It will be the tallest structure in the world. Modi has asked farmers and workers across the country to contribute iron pieces for building the statue.